What's Next For Professor Layton?
Now that Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is out in North America, it's time to look ahead to the puzzle scholar's upcoming projects on 3DS, iOS, and Android. Before you get too excited, keep in mind that none of these projects have a North American release announced yet. I reached out to Level 5 about all of the following titles, and the company preferred not to comment on the likelihood of crossing the pond. That said, some of these are almost certainly going to make the trip from Japan while others' chances are looking slim.
Layton Brothers: Mystery Room
This iOS title released in Japan back in September for iPhone, iPod, and iPad. It stars Hershel Layton's son, Alphendi, who's a detective rather than an academic. Players investigate crimes in 3D environments using a system that virtually recreates the crime scene. As of this writing, the game is rated at 3.5 stars out of 5 by 243 users and costs 800 yen (around $10). It seems like a no-brainer to release this one in English language territories.
Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney
This is the ultimate team up for graphic adventure puzzle fans! And it's coming out at the end of November in Japan on 3DS. Layton and Phoenix Wright clash in the city of Labyrinth during a witch trial, but eventually work together to get to the bottom of the case. This hasn't been announced for the U.S. yet, but Capcom, Level 5, and Nintendo (Layton's Western publisher) would be nuts not to make it happen.
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies
This 3DS entry is the next true Layton game in the series, taking place after Miracle Mask. It will cap off the the prequel trilogy and is said to be the last main game starring Layton as the lead. Who knows where the franchise will head after this? Azran Legacies will hit Japan in 2013, so don't expect it over here until at least a year later. Hopefully, Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney will step up to cover the wait.
Professor Layton and the Phantom Thieves
This iOS and Android title is headed to Japan, though no release date is currently available. It's developed by Level 5 in collaboration with Dena and published by Mobage. This one seems like the least likely to make it to the U.S., but Mobage looks to be doing well over here with titles like Marvel: War of Heroes, Blood Brothers, and Rage of Bahamut. This social game lets players choose a detective avatar to stop the Seven Thieves terrorizing London.